Since 1964, Dunsteel Group has been fabricating steel products of all shapes and sizes. Over the years, our fabricated products have evolved and can be seen in facades from the Sydney CBD through to the fabricated steel supporting the main structure for the upgrade at Taronga Zoo.
We’ve researched some interesting facts about the Steel Fabrication Industry that we thought were worth sharing.
1. Steel is an alloy of iron with about 1 percent carbon. It may also contain other elements, such as manganese. Where pure iron is a relatively soft metal that rusts easily, steel can be hard, tough, and corrosion-resistant. It is used to make almost everything from skyscraper girders, automobiles, and appliances to thumb tacks and paper clips. Steel is one of the world’s most vital materials. Among all the metals, iron is second only to aluminum in natural abundance, making up 4.7 percent of the earth’s crust, and occurring mainly as its various oxides. The main product made from iron is steel, the least expensive and most widely used of all metals.
2. The Steel industry is a global contributor to much more than construction, infrastructure and household goods. In developing countries, steel manufacturers are the most involved industry for the provision of healthcare services and community wide education.
3. The Steel industry turns over circa $900 billion, making it the second largest industry in the world next to oil and gas. During the eighteenth century a relatively small amount of steel was made with Sweden being the main producer. In the nineteenth century Great Britain became the dominant producer and in the twentieth century the United States led the way until 1970, when it was surpassed by the Soviet Union. However since the start of the twenty-first century, China has become the world’s largest steel producer, manufacturing in excess of 50% of the worlds steel production.
4. Steel was first used for skyscrapers in 1884 with the Home Insurance Building in Chicago. Modern steel buildings, like The Empire State Building (1930) in New York and U.S. Steel Tower (1971) in Pittsburgh, are designed to easily assemble and disassemble. The Burj Khalifa (the worlds tallest building) contains just over half the amount of steel that is contained within the Empire state building, and at 828 metres it’s 385 metres taller demonstrating how far Steel has evolved and why it’s the most popular material used in construction.
5. Steel bridges are four to eight times lighter than those built from concrete. The Golden Gate Bridge (1937) required 83,000 tons of steel whereas half of that amount would be required today.
6. Over 50% of all products in the world today come from steel fabrication. This ranges from bridges through to boats, aircraft, apartment and office blocks to feature designer stairs (insert link to designer stairs page). The first attempt at steel fabrication in space occurred back in 1969 by Russian Cosmonauts. These early experiments made it essential to the advancements in technology that are now used to construct space stations.
7. There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel, whilst the exact count is uncertain, organizations such as the World Steel Association state that “there are more than 3,500 different grades of steel” and that “approximately 75% of modern steels have been developed in the past 20 years.” As materials evolve it’s probable that there will be many more steel alloys emerging into the market in the not so distant future.
8. Steel fabrication is the process of cutting, shaping, welding and assembling of steel parts to produce different structure. This is the actual process through which engineers manipulate steel to give different shapes or patterns to create different structures. And the fabrication is followed by the drawings, designs and the plan, created by the fabricators in conjunction with the engineer.
9. Different types of steel include:
• Carbon Steel. This is the most widely used kind of steel. Its carbon content is under 2 percent and is usually less than 1 percent. It often also contains a little manganese.
• Stainless Steel. This is the most corrosion-resistant kind of steel. It normally contains at least 12 percent (and sometimes up to 30 percent) chromium, and it usually also contains nickel. A very popular stainless steel formulation is 18-8, 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel.
• Alloy Steels. These contain a little carbon, and sometimes silicon, but they mainly contain added metals, such as manganese (hardness), nickel (strength), molybdenum (improved wear), tungsten (high temperature strength), chromium (corrosion resistance), and vanadium (toughness).
• Galvanized Steel. This steel is coated with zinc to protect against corrosion.
• Tool Steel. This is very hard steel made by tempering (heating to a very high temperature and then quickly cooling).
• Damascus Steel. Quality ancient steel with a beautiful wavy surface pattern used in making sword blades. It seems to have come mainly from India.
• Wootz Steel. This was actually a European mispronunciation of ukku, the very fine steel made in ancient India that they called “wook.” (It is probably the same material as Damascus steel.)
• Electroplated Steel. This steel has a coating of another metal, usually tin, applied by the use of an electric current. Tin-plated steel is widely used for making cans and other containers.
10. The most modern process for making steel is the continuous process, which bypasses the energy requirements of the blast furnace. Instead of using coke, the iron ore is reduced by hydrogen and CO derived from natural gas. This direct reduction method is especially being used in developing countries where there are not any large steel plants already in operation.
If you would like any further information about our products and services or are seeking help for an upcoming project, feel free to reach out for a confidential chat with our professional and friendly team.
L: Dunsteel Group